Does Celexa work right away? (+3 factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether Celexa works right away. We will also discuss how Celexa works, contributing factors and what one should do if Celexa is not working.

Does Celexa work right away?

Celexa does not work right away. Celexa, a brand for Citalopram, may start to show improvements in depression symptoms within the first two weeks of antidepressant treatment. However, it may show its complete therapeutic benefit after 6-8 weeks.

Celexa is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) which works for anxiety and depression by blocking the reuptake of serotonin (a neurotransmitter in the synaptic region of the brain). Due to this mechanism, serotonin levels are increased and they remain in the brain cells for longer periods (1).

Because serotonin remains longer in the synaptic region, it increases the neurotransmission between brain cells leading to a reduction in depression symptoms by enhancing mood, appetite, emotions, sleep and the body’s stress response (2).

What factors influence Celexa’s onset of action?

Factors influencing Celexa’s onset of action include:

Individual sensitivity

Every individual is unique and responds differently to medications because of genetic and metabolic uniqueness. So, if you are sensitive to Celexa, you may respond to even lower doses of the medicine compared to others, and even observe improvement in depression symptoms earlier than expected.

The gender of the patient may also affect the availability of the medicine in the body, as females were found to have higher levels of Celexa.

Individual metabolism and genetic variation

Every person metabolises the drug differently, therefore the onset of action of Celexa may vary among individuals. Some patients may have a slower metabolism such as in the aged population compared to adults.

The genetic variation among individuals may significantly affect the time taken by Celexa to start working. The genetic makeup of individuals influences how the drug is metabolized in the body, hence affecting its onset of action.

Dosage and duration of treatment

The duration of treatment with Celexa and the dosage at which it is prescribed may influence the time taken by the medicine to show its therapeutic effects. Higher doses may show comparatively quick results, however, it may also be linked with the risk of side effects.

Concomitant use of other drugs

If certain medications or supplements are used along with Celexa, they may delay the onset of action of the medication. Additionally, the use of caffeine and alcohol may also affect the effectiveness of Celexa.


Celexa should be taken exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider and you should not miss a single dose. Being consistent and taking Celexa at the same time each day, may have a positive impact on the effectiveness of Celexa.

How to know that Celexa is working?

To know that Celexa is working, you may have to wait for some time. Antidepressants take time to start work. Depression progresses slowly over time so it is not possible for antidepressants to produce its effects straight away.

If you start noticing improvements in your sleep, mood or appetite within two weeks, it indicates that Celexa has started working and your body is adjusting and responding to the antidepressant treatment.

However, some people may not observe any improvements in the early phase of treatment with Celexa. Therefore, in such cases, you should wait for at least 6 weeks. If after 6 weeks you do not notice any reduction in symptoms, there is a possibility that you may not feel better even after 8 weeks of Celexa treatment.

What leads to Celexa’s insufficiency?

Some factors may lead to Celexa’s insufficiency including:

  • Lower doses of Celexa may not be effective in achieving the desired therapeutic effect.
  • When Celexa is taken for a short duration it might not be effective, as Celexa may take a few weeks to show its full effects.
  • Due to physiological variations among individuals, they may not respond to Celexa.
  • Being inconsistent with Celexa with Celexa treatment may not allow it to show its therapeutic benefits.
  • Concomitant use of other medicines that may interact with Celexa, may also lead to insufficiency.
  • Underlying health conditions and environmental factors such as stress may also cause Celexa insufficiency.

What to do if Celexa is not working?

If you feel that Celexa is not working and you do not notice any improvement in your depression symptoms after 8 weeks, please consult your healthcare provider. They may evaluate your current symptoms, family or medical history and dosage regimen of Celexa.

Your doctor may adjust the dosage of Celexa and monitor your response after these changes. You may experience some side effects of Celexa after dose adjustment, such as nausea, diarrhoea, tiredness, acid reflux, dry mouth, sleep disturbances, weight changes or fatigue (3).

However, these side effects may disappear as your body gets used to the medication. If you do not respond even after dose adjustment, your doctor may gradually discontinue your medication or recommend an alternative treatment.

Always remember not to discontinue Celexa on your own as it can cause horrible withdrawal symptoms (4).

What are the alternatives to Celexa?

Antidepressant Class Name of antidepressant 
SSRIs Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Fluvoxamine
SNRIs Venlafaxine. Desvenlafaxine, Duloxetine
TCAs Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline, Doxepin

As per my analysis, Celexa does not work right away. Celexa may start working within two weeks and show full efficacy after 8 weeks of consistent treatment. Several factors may influence the onset of action of Celexa.

Always consult your healthcare provider for personalized guidance and treatment plans.





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